Booking Policy


1. Booking Policy


The Centre forms part of a statewide network within DET and is active in promoting curriculum-based environmental education in an urban context. The Centre supports student outcomes in key learning areas by providing 16 fieldwork programs in and around the CBD of Sydney.

Booking Formalities

Bookings for fieldwork programs (K-12) from Government schools must be made through the Centre on (02) 9247-7321. The Centre can cater for two visiting classes (generally up to 30 students per class, 20 for K-2) each accompanied by their classroom teacher (younger students will require more support from staff/parents if available). Some programs can cater for 3 classes, however the school is required to fund the third teacher employed as a casual by the Centre.

In an effort to ensure the most equitable distribution of bookings across the client groups, limits have had to be placed on the number of bookings per school as follows:

Primary – 2 for each semester         Secondary – 4 for each semester

To ensure an equitable distribution of bookings across all client groups, some programs have a quota imposed. The educational programs offered to schools are designed to complement classroom learning. Centre staff  at the EEC can provide information on other educational venues in the city, contacts for environmental educational resources, accommodation suggestions and information on special exhibits. The teaching staff may also be available to visit schools to advise on school environmental management plans and projects. The Environmental Education Centre has conference facilities for up to 70 people. These facilities are available for Staff Development Days, Professional Learning and workshops (NO PARKING ON SITE, so public transport is the best option).

Visiting Teachers Role

In addition to duplicating the class set of student worksheets from blackline masters and undertaking suggested pre-visit activities, teachers are expected to actively participate in all activities and be supportive of the EEC teachers especially in the area of student behaviour particularly during recess and lunch breaks (refer to No.2  Safety and Welfare Information and Procedures for schools undertaking fieldwork). Teachers are encouraged to complete an evaluation sheet during their visit.

Organisational Procedures

Once a visit date has been established and booking details recorded on the booking sheet (focus area, age level, transport mode, meeting place, special considerations – medical, (CHECK YOUR SCHOOLS ANAPHYLAXIS PLAN and refer to ‘Safety and Welfare Information over the page, behavioural, group size and capability) the centre staff will:

  • discuss in greater detail with the contact teacher, precise details about the fieldwork expectations regarding student outcomes. Pre-visit activities will be recommended and the visiting teachers will receive worksheets, which will need to be duplicated prior to the visit date (where possible worksheets should be backed). Teacher’s background notes and other resources are included in the program packs. At times, schools may be asked to provide some basic equipment (e.g. clipboards), which will be noted on the booking sheet.

Teachers are encouraged to visit the Centre website and go over the programs curriculum links, activities, student outcomes and targeted quality teaching elements.

The DEC Excursion Policy requires documentation to be submitted to your Principal for approval before excursions are undertaken. Please refer to the Centres’ information on ‘Safety and Welfare Information and Procedures’ for schools undertaking fieldwork, to assist with this documentation. (see below)

Any fieldwork equipment lost or damaged must be paid for by the visiting school.


The Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre does not charge per student for visits, except for Special Projects. However, Program Packs must be paid for in advance. Some programs have a craft levy cost or require separate cheques for visits to special venues as part of the program, these details will be discussed at the time of the booking and included on the Booking Sheet.


Cancellations need to be made within a month of the date of the booking or a cancellation fee of $40.00 per class will be charged. Additionally, if casual teachers are hired especially for the booking, the cost of their pay will also be added to the fee. If cancellation occurs due to inclement weather on the day, no fee will be charged. The introduction of this fee has been necessary to discourage schools from cancelling at the last minute. Many schools are placed on a waiting list and late cancellations do not allow sufficient lead-up time to re-offer bookings to those schools unable to gain a booking in the first intake.

If there is a need to cancel on the day, please leave a message by dialing 9247 7321 as early as possible or ring Glen on 0400 230 699.

If you would like to know more about other ways the Centre supports schools, browse the About us web page

2. Safety and Welfare Information and Procedures

The Centre endeavors to minimise risks associated with the delivery of education programs and aims to provide a safe and comfortable environment for students and teachers to learn in, including taking appropriate breaks, regular toilet stops and providing protection from the sun. Centre staff have limited information on the background of students undertaking educational programs offered by the Centre. There is, therefore, heavy reliance on the visiting teacher to inform Centre teachers of any issues that could impact upon student welfare. This information would be helpful PRIOR TO THE VISIT. Centre staff are screened to cover the requirements of the Child Protection Policy and carry mobile phones whilst in the field.  It is expected that visiting teachers take an active role in assisting the EEC teachers in the delivery of the program.

Preparing students for the activities on the day

Students should be suitably dressed for the activities they will be undertaking. Students will need hats, appropriate clothing, sunscreen, enclosed shoes, (no sandals or thongs). Water bottles are recommended. If rain is likely, wet weather gear should be brought. Where weather is unsuitable for fieldwork, alternative dates or arrangements will be made. Please ring the Centre before 8:00 am on the morning of the visit to discuss alternatives. Please bring first aid and appropriate medication for students with medical conditions such as Asthma, Diabetes etc. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE YOUR ANAPHYLAXIS PLAN operational before the fieldwork day and ensure you identify students who are known Anaphylaxics to EEC teachers when you meet. Teachers and principals should carefully consider the day’s activities and assess whether they are appropriate for students with behaviour concerns. Some student behaviour may place themselves or other students at risk. If possible, visiting teachers should carry a charged mobile phone and ring 112 (mobile) or 000 in an emergency. The Centre can be connected on ph 9247 7321. Centre teachers also carry mobile phones.

Undertaking activities near the edge of waterways

Students undertaking activities near the edge of waterways will be adequately supervised and given clear instructions about remaining behind safety barriers and taking appropriate precautions where there are no safety barriers. All Centre staff are trained in CPR in case of emergencies and will follow emergency procedures if a student falls in the water.

Undertaking activities in public buildings

When entering buildings, staff will avoid using revolving doors, escalators and lifts where possible. If lifts are required, students will be escorted in groups to the required floor. Students entering public buildings will follow the instructions of the management staff and EEC staff at all times.

Interacting with the public

Students undertaking fieldwork activities in the city interact with the public on a regular basis. Where guest speakers are presenting to students, it is expected that they will behave in a courteous manner. Sometimes students are required to interview the public as part of a fieldwork task.

Students are given instructions as to the correct approach with the public and permission will have been sought from the relevant authorities. Students will remain within eyesight of their teachers whilst interviewing the public. Should students be filmed or photographed for publication as part of the fieldwork, the appropriate consent forms will be obtained.

Using equipment and undertaking experiments

Students undertaking experiments will be given clear instructions as to the proper use of testing equipment. Staff will follow the Chemical Safety in Schools Policy procedures when handling equipment.

Managing the movement of students

Students will remain within eyesight of their teachers at all times when moving through the study sites. All students will walk behind an EEC teacher with the class teacher at the rear of the group (younger students will hold hands and travel in pairs). Head counts will be taken at periodic intervals especially after recess and lunch. All students and teachers will cross at traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. When traveling on public transport, such as ferries, students will be given instructions as to where they are to sit and should follow any relevant safety advice given by the authorities involved.

(please note; if possible, alternative routes will be devised for students who cannot negotiate stairs. Student information should be provided by the class teacher prior to the fieldwork day).

Student behaviour at lunch and recess

Recess and lunch are generally taken in public parks. Students will be given specific boundaries as to where they can play after eating their food. Some senior fieldwork breaks are taken in city food courts. Students will sit at the tables to eat their food and be supervised by staff whilst in the food court. Visits to toilets will be supervised and students will be escorted in groups.

Anti-bullying Policy Statement

Students attending programs run by the EEC must abide by the Centre anti-bullying policy. Any inappropriate behaviour that gets in the way of teaching and learning whilst participating in Centre programs and interferes with the wellbeing of students will not be accepted. Further information about the policy is available on this website under Booking Policy and Safety and Welfare Policy.

Approximate distance walked during the program

Refer to column 8 in the table attached. Please inform the Centre prior to the visit if the distance to be walked will present problems for teachers or students.

3. DET Risk Assessment Matrix

To assist with your DET Excursions Risk Plan pro-forma, we have considered the elimination and control measures required for all fieldwork activities undertaken by the Centre and have assessed them to match Level 6 (very unlikely) on the Risk Assessment Matrix. Each activity in the table below has also been coded to match the requirements of the Excursions Policy pro-forma (environment, travel, people etc).

Fieldwork programs/Special Projects 1. Preparing Students for activities (Environment) 2. Activities near waterways (environment) 3. Activities within Public Buildings (Environment) 4. Interacting with the public/ guest Speakers  (People)
5.Using equipment and undertaking experiments (Equipment)
6. Managing the movement of students (environment) 7. Student behaviour at recess/lunch (People) Approximate distance by foot (Travel)
Come to the party   500m
Caring for Critters
The Rocks Stage 2 1km
The Rocks Stage 3 1.2km
Big Build Up 1.5km
Bring Back the Block 800m
Transporting Sydney 1.1km
Grime Scene Investigation   1kmm
The Built Enviroment 800m
The Rocks Goat Island 1.5km
Millers Point-Community in change 1.5km
Waterfront Workout 2.7km
Tourism – an economic activity 1.2km
Eco Urbia 400m
Making Maritime Memories 1.5km
Building Better Cities 2.4km
Building Better Cities 2 2.4km
Sydney Harbour Stage 6 500m
In school programs
Creature Feature N/A
Taking care of our place N/A
Grow Plus N/A
Watch our Watts N/A
Water Wiseguys 1km
Enviromaths N/A
Bush Christmas N/A
Local Area Study Varies
Project Flying Fox N/A